1. Older adults are being prescribed too many medications. One of the services I provide is a review of all the medications my clients are taking. This includes prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. One of my clients was taken 17 different medications! It is not uncommon for clients to have multiple specialists, each prescribing a variety of medications without looking carefully at how they interact with the patients other drugs. In addition, many seniors continue to be prescribed medications that should not be taken after the age of 65. So, take the time to have your primary care provider, pharmacist, or a health advocate review your medication lists to avoid dangerous drug to drug combinations.
  1. We are living longer. When I first started working as a physician assistant it was rare to have patients that were doing well at 80 or 90. Now the 85 plus group is growing larger and thriving better than most would expect. As a result, they are also more aware of their financial needs and are experiencing ‘sticker shock’ when they need in-home services or they need to move to personal care. Learning from the current aging trends, we need to adjust our mindset so that we have enough money to live well into our 80’s and 90’s.
  1. Falls can be tragic. In the last year, three seniors I have known have had life altering falls. They were all over the age of 80, but had been very active and living at home independently prior to their fall. One fell at the grocery store and the other two fell at home. In all of these cases, it was a few seconds that changed their lives and their family’s lives forever. One out of three people over the age of 65 will fall each year resulting in 2.5 million emergency room visits a year. One way to prevent falls is to have a home safety inspection. I offer all my clients an assessment of their home to consider such things as grab bar installation, chair lifts, and removal of tripping hazards.
  1. Medical bills are rarely correct. It has been estimated that 80% of medical bills are incorrect. In the last year, I have helped many clients save money by carefully looking at each bill and questioning the insurance company or provider about the costs. In one case, I saved a client over $6000.00 on a nursing home bill. Never pay a bill until you or your advocate has taken the time to call your insurance company to verify the accuracy of the bill.